HK Dept of Health: Prevention and management of suicide

HK Dept of Health: Prevention and management of suicide

Recently, one of our compatriots took her life by hanging herself. From the initial investigation by the Hong Kong police, a suicide note was found. Financial difficulty was said to be the reason for her suicide.

The Filipino community poured their prayers into our lost kababayan, and also gave different opinions and suggestions on how to cope with problems to prevent that incident.

The Health Promotion Branch of the Hong Kong Department of Health  (DH) helped the Filipino community to have awareness of the topic of suicide, thus, the information below was sent to HKNEWS, and to commemorate the upcoming World Suicide Prevention Day, which would be on 10 September this year.

Let us help each and every one!

Prevention of Suicide

Warning signs of suicide

Most people who have suicidal thoughts always exhibit warning signs. Some of these include:

  • Talking about the intention to die or kill themselves
  • Believing themselves are a burden to the others
  • Expressing feelings that life is meaningless or there’s no reason to live
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, worthless, and/or guilty
  • Feeling desperate or trapped, as if there’s no way out
  • Feeling unbearable emotional or physical pain
  • Exhibiting drastic changes in behavior
  • Having trouble eating or sleeping
  • Losing interest in school, work, or hobbies
  • Using drugs or alcohol more often
  • Neglecting appearance and personal hygiene
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and social activities
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
  • Making a will or final arrangements
  • Acquiring or searching for ways to end their lives, such as browsing online for methods
  • Writing or posting on social media about death, dying, or suicide

Prevention and management of suicide

  1. Building better mental health. Suicide is strongly associated with mental disorders, particularly depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, or schizophrenia. Early psychological and pharmacological interventions can be helpful in managing underlying mental disorders and decreasing suicidal risk.
  2. Identifying people at risk and seeking help. Stay vigilant and take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. If someone you know is exhibiting warning signs of suicide, don’t be afraid to ask if he is depressed or thinking about suicide. Encourage or escort him to seek professional help as early as possible. If a person has taken any action that you believe could be life-threatening, don’t hesitate to send that person to the Accident & Emergency (A & E) of a hospital or call 999 for assistance.
  3. Staying with the person. If your friend or loved one appears to be extremely distressed, don’t leave him alone. Stay with him, try to keep him as calm as possible, and seek immediate help.
  4. Limiting access to lethal means. Removed any potential means of suicide from his immediate environment such as drugs, knives, or other sharp objects, as well as household chemicals such as insecticide.
  5. Maintaining continuity of care. Ensuring continuity of care has been shown to reduce rates of suicide. Even after the immediate suicidal crisis, supporting and staying in touch with the person is vital to ensure his recovery.
  6. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Leading a healthy lifestyle can help one to prevent suicide. Establishing a sleep routine, eating a healthy diet, doing exercise regularly, reducing drug and alcohol use, and participating in social activities can relieve stress, build resilience and promote one’s well-being.

Last but not least, as the pandemic is surging with more contagious mutant strains, it is recommended to receive COVID-19 vaccination early for effective protection in preventing serious complications and even death after infection. People who have yet to receive vaccination, especially senior citizens, chronic patients, and other immunocompromised persons who face a higher chance of death after COVID-19 infection, should get vaccinated as early as possible for self-protection and to reduce the risk of falling seriously ill and death should they get infected.

Source: Hong Kong News